Belfast Telegraph

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Klopp in a strop over penalty award

Furious Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp lashed out at a reporter having been left perplexed by the penalty decision which earned Everton a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Referee Craig Pawson's call to punish Dejan Lovren for needlessly pushing Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the back 13 minutes from time incensed Klopp. His side had been leading thanks to Mohamed Salah's terrific first-half strike, only for Wayne Rooney to level things up from the spot.

Klopp was seen remonstrating with Pawson after the final whistle and in an awkward exchange with Sky Sports reporter Patrick Davison, he told his interviewer he "only wanted to talk to people that have a little bit of an understanding of football".

Pressed repeatedly by Klopp to reveal whether he thought it was a penalty, Davison said it was "soft" but the correct call, to which the German laughed and replied: "Then we can stop the interview. I only want to talk to people that have a little bit of an understanding of football."

Ex-Reds defender Jamie Carragher wrote on Twitter it was a "100 per cent pen" and Klopp later finished his interview with Sky Sports by apologising.

In his press conference with journalists afterwards Klopp asked the room to raise their arms if they deemed it a spot-kick and the majority responded with a show of hands.

"Wow, then I'm really wrong obviously," he added.

"I don't think it was a penalty. Obviously you all think it was a penalty, then all of the other challenges in midfield between (Ashley) Williams and (Dominic) Solanke should have been a free-kick. They weren't, but this was a penalty?

"In the last moment, for me, Calvert-Lewin makes a step in the way of Dejan Lovren. But he doesn't push him, it's just body contact. That's how it was in midfield 60, 70 times. No free-kicks there."

Unsurprisingly, Everton manager Sam Allardyce disagreed and praised Pawson for awarding the Toffees just their second spot-kick at Anfield since 1937.

"Don't put your hands on the forward when he's in the box," Allardyce said when asked about the incident leading up to his side's equaliser.

"Don't touch him, don't push him. If you do, you run the risk of giving a penalty away.

"He had no need to do it, he could have stood up, shepherded (Calvert-Lewin) away from goal, which was where he was going. He put his hands on him, pushed him over so...people can call it soft but you don't do those things in the box.

"The credit goes to Craig Pawson - being brave enough to give it at Anfield."

In only claiming a share of the spoils, Klopp's tactical gamble not to start either Philippe Coutinho or Roberto Firmino backfired.

Both would be brought on, but the brilliant Salah, who had broken Everton's resistance with a fine left-footed strike, had been withdrawn by the time Rooney kept his cool from 12 yards out.

Asked whether he thought his team selection was correct, Klopp replied: "I thought before the game, yes. After the game? Still yes. Even when the result doesn't show it.

"We've done it for six, seven weeks. When we don't win the games I take the blame, I've no problem with that."

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